Lay Beliefs About Attention to and Awareness of the Present: Implicit Mindfulness Theory (IMT) and Its Workplace Implications

Dejun Tony Kong, Phillip M. Jolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While mindfulness (attention to and awareness of the present) has received growing attention from scholars and practitioners, little is known regarding how employees’ lay beliefs about the fixedness versus malleability nature of mindfulness can guide their work behaviors. To address this issue, we proposed the concept of implicit mindfulness theory (IMT) and developed and validated a new measure tapping this construct (with three items in the final scale). Across six studies, we found that the new measure had satisfactory reliabilities, validities, and other psychometric properties and also proved useful in predicting individuals’ voice, production deviance, and in-role behaviors in the workplace. Some individuals in our studies were inclined to view mindfulness as a relatively fixed quality rather than as an attribute developable through time and effort investments. We also found that while IMT had a direct relationship with voice (study 4), IMT modified the relationship between feedback from others at work and production deviance (study 5) or in-role behaviors (study 6); feedback from others at work was significantly related to production deviance or in-role behaviors only among IMT entity theorists. Notably, IMT had predictive validity above and beyond a measure of dispositional mindfulness. The insights provided by our studies highlight the need to better understand the individual difference of IMT and its workplace implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-707
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Lay Beliefs About Attention to and Awareness of the Present: Implicit Mindfulness Theory (IMT) and Its Workplace Implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this